NE OH - SW MI: OH Tpk exits, US 31, etc

19 views
Skip to first unread message

Marc Fannin

unread,
Oct 21, 2002, 8:11:03 PM10/21/02
to
I was able to return from Lake County, Ohio (Mile 186 to Mile 215 on
I-90) to Berrien County, Michigan (Mile 0 to Mile 43 on I-94), for the
second time in four months and third time in a year. Surprisingly,
even with the short time between the last two trips, there were a few
new things. (Everything else is mentioned in older reports -- see
http://www.roadfan.com/triprep.html -- and other recent reports by
other posters -- search groups.google.com ).

Trip out: I-90 WB (partly with I-80) to US 31 NB (OH to IN to MI)
Trip back: Northern Berrien Co (MI) back roads to M(I)-140 SB to
former US 31/33 SB (Bus US 31/Bus US 12/M-51/IN 933) to I-90 EB
(partly with I-80) to OH 175 SB to US 20 EB (impromptu accident
detour) to I-90 EB (MI to IN to OH)

o New LED assemblies in west Mentor, Ohio (barely away from the
origin) are entertaining: One combines the modern feature of LEDs (all
lenses) with the classicism of a diagonal span wire with the weirdness
of a four-way left-turn doughouse assembly; the other, very close by,
actually has programmed fade: When the lights are in flash mode (not
on this trip but I've seen it before), the lights go to
half-brightness for a split second before turning off to avoid the
jerky on-off-on-off effect.

o Ohio Turnpike exit conversion: It looks like the Ohio Turnpike
Commission is holding to the schedule on
http://www.ohioturnpike.org/new_exit.html : I was on the entire 80/90
section and the only dually-numbered exit remaining is Exit 71/5
(I-280/Ohio 420). No other trace of old exit numbers except on
private billboards. At the WB service area east of Toledo there were
posters slapped up all over the place explaining the change. (They
weren't giving them away but they were essentially just an abridged
hard-copy version of the webpage listed above.)

o Indiana Toll Road Exit 96 (Elkhart East): I could see that the sign
bridge on the access ramps to Elkhart CR 17 past the toll booths (
http://www.roadfan.com/intrcr17.jpg ) had a sign now where there was a
space before (see link), and the sign had an off-set shield on it, but
I couldn't make it out (I assume it says in part "TO {US 12}" but not
TO {M-217} as the shield didn't look diamond-shaped.)

o US 31 at US 12 between Buchanan and Niles, Michigan: The stray
Business US 31 shield assembly heading east from here on US 12 is now
gone (Bus 31 was truncated to a spur about four or five years ago).
The assembly had still been there as recently as this past June.

o I just barely got to see that on the front of an antique shop there
was a decent-looking I-275 sign with state name (MI). I contemplated
getting it, but between lack of time, lack of money, and the fact that
I-275 is not really sentimental to me as I've probably only been on it
about 45 minutes in my entire life, I passed it up (we went another
way on the way back so I only saw it once). If anyone else is
interested and will be in the area, it was on the east side of US 31
about 4 miles south of M-63/Scottdale, MI.

o Jumping the gun? As I was looking at the construction of the Exit
28 interchange on I-94 (US 31 SB/M-139 NB) near Benton Harbor,
Michigan, while going from north to east, I saw that on the I-94 EB
oframp that M-139 is shown going both ways (each direction had an
assembly) and US 31 was not mentioned. Hmm, just a little antsy about
getting the US 31 freeway finished? (More on that in a second) It
might have to do with M-139 detour signs around the area, but I doubt
it. (Ironically, the mailing addresses on that section of US 31
mislabelled on the I-94 ramp still are "xxxx M-139" almost 40 years
after M-139 was truncated.) Plus the question remains: What will
current 31 be called south of M-63 after 31 moves? M-139, because
that's been the straight-through movement at the M-63 intersection for
more than 15 years, or M-63, because that would make a consistent
NW/SE route (except for the 15-year-old jog where M-63 ends now)?

o As for the US 31 freeway construction (see
http://www.mdot.state.mi.us/projects/us-31/berrien/ or
http://www.roadfan.com/michrdph.html#sjvp if you don't know what I'm
talking about), while it's been stated that it will be extended from
north of Berrien Springs (where the older 31 alignment crosses and
where 31 jumps onto the old alignment) to (relocated) Pipestone Road
southeast of Benton Harbor/St. Joseph by next month, I don't know if
that'll happen, because the pavement ends at the south edge of the
first overpass (Naomi Road) south of the supposed 11/02-8/03 terminus.
Maybe the article (URL on request) just meant that it will be paved,
but not open to traffic, by next month. Anyway, MDOT just spent three
years rebuilding Napier Avenue east of Benton Harbor to accomodate US
31 until the freeway is built to I-94 at I-94's Exit 30 (see URLs at
the top of this entry) when the freeway opens to Napier in August
2003, so I'm pretty sure they weren't planning to have another, sooner
temporary routing along Pipestone to I-94 Exit 29.

o I guess doughouse signals are here to stay in Michigan. A new
signal assembly outside Benton Harbor has one for each approach.

o For those who don't like the small font on 3dM markers, it looks
like MDOT is starting to use overall larger markers (there were some
where M-140 jogs many times near its south end north of Niles).

o Where the Indiana Toll Road Exit 77 ramps meet IN 933/Bus US 31
(former US 31/33) there are, among other signs, black-on-white
"NORTH/[left arrow]" and "SOUTH/[right arrow]" signs, just in case you
forgot your compass....

________________________________________________________________________
Marc Fannin|musx...@kent.edu or @hotmail.com| http://www.roadfan.com/

emeier

unread,
Nov 8, 2002, 4:21:25 PM11/8/02
to
A follow up to a few of Mark's Notes:


> o Indiana Toll Road Exit 96 (Elkhart East): I could see that the sign
> bridge on the access ramps to Elkhart CR 17 past the toll booths (
> http://www.roadfan.com/intrcr17.jpg ) had a sign now where there was a
> space before (see link), and the sign had an off-set shield on it, but
> I couldn't make it out (I assume it says in part "TO {US 12}" but not
> TO {M-217} as the shield didn't look diamond-shaped.)

That new BGS is indeed "TO US 12," I drove under it last weekend. The
other half is the same as before "TO US 20/IN 120" There is no
mention of M-217 until one hits the stateline.


>
>
> o Jumping the gun? As I was looking at the construction of the Exit
> 28 interchange on I-94 (US 31 SB/M-139 NB) near Benton Harbor,
> Michigan, while going from north to east, I saw that on the I-94 EB
> oframp that M-139 is shown going both ways (each direction had an
> assembly) and US 31 was not mentioned.

Here's more proof of the M-139 extention:

I was in Benton Harbor Friday afternoon and saw this new BGS installed
southbound just before the I-94 overpass:


EAST | SOUTH
I-94 | M-139
|
<-- | /\
| | |
| | |
Detroit | Niles

Next time I'm up that way, I'll snap a picutre.

emeier

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages